Chad Interview
Music Head talked with Chad Gilbert, guitarist for New Found Glory, on April 18th, 2001 (or should I say April 19th) at the The Crowbar in State College, Pa.  The concert and interview that almost never were finally happened, thanks to New Found Glory's sheer determination not to let their fans down.  Knowing that NFG was not yet in the building the crowd grew restless watching the groups The Movielife, Autopilot Off, and Glass Jaw.  The band was supposedly on their way from NYC were they just finished a taping of Late Night with Conan O'Brien.  Around midnight one of the roadies came on stage stating New Found Glory would be here within the hour and attempted to please the crowd by throwing out various NFG stickers and buttons.  Around 1 AM just as the audience watched Conan on TVs throughout the Crowbar, Jordan, Chad, Ian, Steve, and Cyrus arrived.  The reasons given for the delay- a band members fear of flying.  With only a brief warm up they crushed the crowd with their pop-punk sound till 2AM where they then had to seek approval from their manager to play a few extra songs.  The wait was worth it and after the show the guys stayed on stage and hung out with anyone who wanted a pic, an autograph, or just to say hello.  Music Head's patience was rewarded with a sit-down with the pajama clad Gilbert.   

Music Head (MH):  How�s it going?

Chad Gilbert (CG):  Good.  We�ve been on the road.  This is our headlining tour.  You know it's cool because we�re able to hook up with three bands that we love and are friends.  And it�s about 15 shows and it�s just been awesome.  Every show is sold out and we haven�t even played them yet.  We play so many places, you know, it�s just really fun.

MH:  I understand you just finished taping Conan O�Brien in New York earlier this afternoon.  What was it like playing on a TV show?

CG:  It's funny because out of all talk shows and stuff we do it was really cool to do Conan O'Brien because when you're on tour and you go back to your hotel it's on dude.  We watch that show all the time.  It's just so funny and when I'm up and I can't sleep it entertains me on tour every night.  So it's just so cool to be on it.  And he's cool.  He's (a) really funny, nice guy.  It's cool because Carson Daly was one of the guests and he was so awesome dude.  He was so nice we hung out with him.  He was so supportive.  He was like �yeah we gotta hang out,� but we couldn't because we had to play a show.  But he's a very nice guy. 

MH:  How was Easter for New Found Glory? 

CG:  Easter we saw Josie and the Pussy Cats.  I was in New York City and I was hanging out with Richard and Stefanie from Drive-Through Records.  We went to see Josie and The Pussy Cats and we went to dinner.  It was cool.  I was excited because we got to go to WWF New York.  I never got to go there it was awesome.

MH: I saw on your website that you are allowing fans to pick your set list.  How is that working out?

CG:  It�s working good.  The thing is we�ve been on so many tours and we think we play all the hits.  All the favorites that the kids like.  But, everyone is like oh we should play this and we should play this.  And we�re like 'alright you guys can just pick the set list.'  Basically we try to play the songs that the kids want to hear.  So we thought the best way to do it is to do a big vote.  It works.  Tonight since it�s curfew and we showed up late and everything because of Conan, we had to cut-out a few songs so we didn�t get to play some of the big songs.  I mean we didn�t get to play �2�s & 3�s� and the �Goodbye Song� and more songs off the old record, but we couldn�t play them because of time.  It�s what?  After two in the morning�that�s crazy.

MH: Yeah, I enjoyed a lot of the cover songs and everything.  It was still a great show.  A few days ago you guys played in Asbury, New Jersey, which was one of your biggest headlining concerts to date with over 4,000 fans.  How do you feel about this rise in popularity?

CG:  It was the biggest.  It was like 4,500 people.  It was insane.  It was just great because we played there two years ago in a basement in front of 20 people and then months later we played in front of 200 and then months later we played in front of 1,000.  And now we play there and we�re playing in front of 4,000.  It�s like holy crap this is awesome.  All our fans are really sincere and they know we�re sincere.  It�s just fun.  It�s not even the popularity, it�s that we�re still the same band.  It�s just that all these bands, not really punk bands, but you see all these metal bands and rock bands and they�re all rock stars.  We just do exactly the same thing as always.  It just so happens that more people are showing up.  And that�s it.  It�s so awesome.  It�s so cool.

MH:  With crowds like that, do you find your performance being affected by the energy they put out or vice versa?

CG:  Yeah, that�s how it is.  If the crowd�s not having fun, we�re not having fun.  You know what I mean.  When we see the crowd going insane then we go even more insane.

MH:  How do you feel about the resurgence of punk music into mainstream listening with bands like Blink 182, Good Charlotte, and yourself?

CG:  I think it�s awesome.  I think it rules because there�s all these cheesy rock bands that have someone write their songs or they just have some stupid songs and have some stupid image and everyone buys into it.  They don�t work hard they just put out a record and the label puts them together.  Then they get huge.  And then you see the song on TV and then a month later you see them on Cribs.  You see them with a mansion and it�s like so many bands have been touring, we�ve been touring, back-up bands, struggling just like forever.  We�re like that.  We�ve been doing it for four years.  There are some bands that have been doing it for ten years.  They�ve been busting their asses with their little bands and working really hard.  And it�s so cool because Green Day gets big and it opens the doors for Blink and Rancid.  Blink gets big and opens the doors for us and all these newer punk bands.  And it�s like people hate it when bands get big, but at least the sincere hard-working band is actually well deserving of what they�re getting.  You know what I mean?  They deserve some kind of success

MH:  What do you think your big break was?

CG:  I don�t even know dude.  I don�t really realize it.  Like no one in our band really realizes it.  You know, the Conan thing happened so quickly.  We were like dude we were just on Conan O�Brien.  We were like where are we?  Everything is just like a straight path, �we�re on tour, we�re on tour� and then we go one week and they�re like you guys are blowing up can you come another week.  It�s even more insane.  We�re just like touring and the crowd is getting bigger, but we don�t really notice it.  I mean you notice it, but it�s a gradual climb.  Everyone comes up to us in the store and is like how does it feel to be huge?  And we�re like what do you mean?  Are you saying I�m getting fatter or something?  What are you talking about?  We�re just having fun.

"Let everyone know that we�re still sincere and we don�t want anyone to think that we�re going to change anything."

MH:  That�s cool.  What are some of the band�s musical influences or favorite groups to hear?

CG:  My personal influence, I have a lot different influences.  They Might Be Giants.  I love Green Day.  I love old school, hard-core and every hard-core song.  That�s where the breakdown for most of our songs comes from.  Hatebreed, Madball, and Today, and all the other bands.  Madball and Hatebreed aren't old.  You know, every member of our band comes from a different background.  I guess you can say. 

MH: Who are some of your favorite bands to play with?

CG:  Well, the bands we�re on tour with.  We love playing with all them.  They are all awesome bands.  We love to rock their CDs, which is The Movielife, Autopilot Off, which is the artist formally known as Cooter, and it's just like Midtown and we're playing with them.  But just, you know, Midtown, Saves The Day, Less Than Jake, Alkaline Trio.  The one time we played with Blink it was amazing.  Those guys were really cool to us.  It was just fun.

MH:  When you are on the road is there anything interesting you guys do for fun?  Do you guys play practical jokes on each other?

CG:  Kind of, I mean every once in a while.  But, we are always busy.  We�re always doing something.  Like it's not just the show, know what I mean.  So, really I just bring my Dreamcast on tour and me and Jordan, I room with Jordan, and we just play Unreal Tournament.  We just play Unreal Tournament all night.  And when we have days off we always go see movies, cause we are all movie freaks.  We like movies.  So, all we do is watch movies.

MH: Are you excited for the Warped Tour coming around this summer?

CG:  Yeah, it's awesome.  The thing that is crazy is like I went to the first Warped Tour and was like, 'Oh my gosh, Lalapalooza sucks now, this rules, Warped Tour.'  I went to the first Warped Tour, and it was just so weird.  It was like Sublime, L7 (who I don't really care about), Face to Face, Sick Of It All, Into Another, and like all these awesome bands.  No Use For A Name, it was like �Whoa dude, this is so cool, it's like Lalapalooza, but with punk rocker bands.'  And now four years later, five years later, how many years later it is, I go to warpedtour.com and we�re like one on the main poster.  It's like Pennywise, Weezer, Less than Jake, New Found Glory, 311.  It's like 'Whoa!'  It's just so much fun.  We played some shows last summer and they were so cool.  It's like a big punk rock summer camp.

MH:  For your movie themes tribute CD, From The Screen To Your Stereo, what went into the process of selection for some of the songs?

CG:  Basically the first two, well the first types, well we were just starting to play South Florida all the time and before we had the CD out we wanted the kids to have fun at our shows.  I mean they liked our songs, but they didn't have the CD so they didn�t know the words.  And Titanic was really annoying and all over the radio.  So, we decided to do a punk rock cover of that.  So, we did that and every time we played that, the kids would go insane.  We played that out.  We did it for 4 months straight every show and we used to play it every weekend.  And then Armageddon was the next big song, so we did that.  And then we put out Nothing Gold Can Stay right after.  So in between Nothing Gold and our new album we wanted something out to hold kids over.  So, we were like dude why don�t we just do a movie cover song track CD, cause like we have the two songs.  And there's five members of the band so we let every member pick a song.

MH:  What has MCA�s involvement with Drive-Thru meant for the band?

CG:  Well, we�re on MCA now.  Our new song is from MCA.  Drive-Thru is still involved.  They have good ideas to add.  Drive-Thru is more like gets us on the street team and does their share.  But, MCA, it's  awesome.  Everyone at MCA rules.  You expect a major label to be all guys in suits and stuff and it's not dude.  MCA rules.  And everyone there gets it.  We didn't have to change anything.  We do what we want. We're having fun.  They're having fun with us and they come introduce themselves and it's like 'Wow this is awesome we get to actually work with a band we like.'  It's really cool.  MCA just gets our CDs out there, does all the promotion, all the radio stuff.  You know, we do what we do and they do what they do and all�s well.

MH:  What are the band�s plans for the future?

CG:  I feel like I'm in That Thing You Do or like Almost Famous.  We�re going to move to California.  I�m going to move to Los Angeles.  Everyone else is moving to San Diego.  Our manager and our label and everyone is out there.  And it's just like we live with our parents cause it seems like the best place for us right now.  At least for a year or two cause we�re never home anyway.  And when we are home it's good to be in an area where being home is really going to do you good.  It's not even just home, it's just like we�re gonna be off, but we can still do an in-store.  I mean the scene in Florida is good.  It's an awesome scene. But, the California scene kind of rules the country.

MH:  Anything else you would like to add or comment on?

CG:  I just want to say that you know we are getting played on the radio and our videos are on MTV.  I just want to make sure everyone knows that we�re still the same band and we will always be the same band. And the only time we won�t be able to meet anyone is if there is thousands of screaming kids trying to attack us.  And we hope it doesn�t ever get like that.  We want kids to know that we�re cool and we don�t care.  We�re not stars.  We�re just happy to play music and we're happy to rock out and we�re happy that kids are having fun at our shows.  Cause we�re having fun at our shows.  You know, let everyone know that we�re still sincere and we don�t want anyone to think that we�re going to change anything.  The only thing that will ever change is if kids change.  That's it.  We'll always be the same.  That�s it.  Thank you for everyone�s support.

That's just what New Found Glory is- sincere.  Even through it all they still manage to find time to meet with their fans and do an interview.  Conan, a show, and an interview- Just another day for New Found Glory.  No sell-outs here!

from musichead.org
Jordan and Chad Interview
VOX: The new record, "Sticks and Stones," is out, but no preview copies went out pre-release - many of the labels are worried about piracy.   Where do you guys come down on the issue?
Chad Gilbert: It [downloading] has helped us actually in bringing in new fans.  If a band like blink says NFG is great, people go online and got the mp3 on Napster or whatever, then from there we get a bunch of fans checking out our show.  People are always going to do that.  I mean I hear some record store people are losing their jobs, which sucks but you can't control it.  If they like the music they�ll end up going to our shows and that's really what we're all about anyway.

VOX: I'm guessing that you're more involved in the business side than before - does the slump in music sales concern you guys?
Chad: Our success totally comes from touring�[silence]�Uh, I just had a brain fart, forgot what I was going to say�
Jordan Pundik: No.  For what we�ve done, I didn�t expect any of this.   I mean I�m here at MCA, sitting in the B.B. King conference room.  That�s awesome!  I mean, I don�t want to dis anyone but you have all these bands like P.O.D., triple platinum, Sum41 multi-platinum, Alien Ant Farm, multi-platinum, but they�ll play to a few hundred fans, while we play to at least double that.  I don�t want to dis anyone but, like, the Roseland Ballroom, we�ll sell 4000 tickets and P.O.D. will sell 400.  We sell 300 thousand copies of the record while P.O.D. sells 3 million.  So it doesn�t effect us at all 'cause the fans are at our shows.   That's what our focus has been and we're not going to change it.

You went from being a band that was working to get your name out there to a band with a hit record working on a follow-up.  Did it affect how you wrote?
Jordan: We�ve always done the same thing.
Chad: We treated it the same.  We wrote the songs naturally, no pressure from anyone.   I mean we�ve always had a strong fan base - that�s what�s important.   We have a strong work ethic.  When we brought them the album they [label] were like, "This is amazing!"

VOX: Were most of the songs written while you were touring or after you got off the road?
Jordan: We had more time this time�no rush in putting the album together.  Last time we had more pressure to get it done.  We basically demo'd on the bus with a 24 track.
Chad: The best time to write though is after I poop � or sex!
Jordan: Yeah, on the toilet�
Chad: When I poop that�s the best.  I mean, I�m there alone, no one bothering me.  After a nice release it�s so inspiring, there with my guitar�

VOX: What are your expectations or hopes for Sticks and Stones?
Chad: For it to be better than the last album.
Jordan: The last record we were only 18-19, now we�re 21 and we�ve been through a lot.  There's more maturity, and it doesn�t all have to do with girls.

VOX: How was the making of this record different from the last one?
Chad: We learned from the last release, since we were pressured, a little more nervous.   We thought the last album lacked energy so we wanted this release to reflect more what we do live which makes it louder.  But we still consider ourselves as punk/heavy rock with a melodic sound, if you need a label for us.
Jordan: We definitely had more time this time around.  We were relaxed, more time was spent with Neil, and we did our best.

VOX: How do you feel your lives have changed the most because of your success?
Chad: We are basically the same people.  We have our own pads now.  We're not living with parents. Jordan has a place in Temecula, I�m off of Melrose.  We are more independent but still the same.  I hope we don�t change.  I just want us to maintain our friendship if we get popular, I mean we�re not superheroes or anything.  We�ve had fans come up and go crazy, we�re like it�s cool, we�re just the same.

VOX: Do you miss Florida?  Have things changed for you when you go there?
Jordan: It�s been awhile. I miss my family, mom and dad and my sister, but they have been out here.
Chad: It�s the same, well, there are the older fans that get bitter, saying that we�ll fail but we still have our real friends.

VOX: What was the first big purchase you made?
Chad: A big screen, I love games and movies so I needed a big screen.  My place is a mess.  If I ever do 'Cribs' I won�t clean up!

VOX: What's the album cover all about?
Chad: The cover deals with relationships.  I mean it�s like when we�re kids, boys and girls will hit each other but in the end there�s still that love.   Life would be a lot easier if people remembered how it was when you're a kid.

VOX: You guys are on the main stage at Warped for the summer.  What's up for the band after that?
Jordan: The day after the last Warped date, we are going to Europe and then to Japan.
Chad: England is insane for use.  We�re still bigger here but we get much bigger press and magazine covers there.  The fans really appreciate bands, 'cause they may not make it out as much.  We�ve never been to Japan but we have a lot of interest there.  Our friend Joe [Escalante], bass player for the Vandals said he bought a pair of shoes there and it had an advertisement of us inside the shoe!   We're excited about all the toys.
Jordan: Yeah, we love toys!  I�m bringing an empty suitcase just to buy toys and bring them back.

from voxonline.com
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